Marilyn Monroe’s Conté drawings (c.1960s)

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

Sex symbol, Hollywood starlet, celebrated model, singer, bombshell … Marilyn Monroe is remembered for many things but aspiring artist isn’t usually among the accolades associated with the iconic actress, who was found dead at her L.A. home in 1962.

After her death, personal documents and mementos belonging to the celebrated actress were found in a built-in-safe concealed in one of the filing cabinets at her Brentwood home. Monroe, it seems, was following a tip from 1940s crooner Frank Sinatra who took similar care over his effects. Among the letters, receipts and photographs was a series of drawings rendered in Conté crayon, thought to have been created as part of an art course which Monroe had enrolled in at the University of California. The rough sketches include a reclining nude as well as a depiction of a champagne glass, and feature captions written in Monroe’s handwriting. A watercolour painting of a rose, painted by Monroe as a birthday present for President John F. Kennedy, fetched close to $78,000 when it was sold at auction in 2005.

Lover watching his love sleep and I must concentrate, sketches in Conté crayon

by Marilyn Monroe (c.1960) via Artsy

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